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All I Want for Christmas

Updated: Dec 19, 2022


By Dr. Bascom Ratliff

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches

This past Sunday evening we had a live nativity event at the Beagle United Methodist Church. We celebrated the birth of Christ and the strength of family. After the celebration we enjoyed a great meal. It was truly a family event with grandparents, parents, and children all gathered to celebrate the birth of Christ and the fellowship of faith. I talked to several people who commented that this to them was the true power of Christmas, the gathering and celebrating together. We talked about the gift of Christmas. Several mentioned that all they really wanted for Christmas was time with their families. It once again reminded me that the greater gifts are those of the love, joy, and peace that we share with one another.

During this time of joyful gift-giving and visiting, it is important to remember that the greater gifts we can give others has little to do with money or presents. Our greatest gift is the love we receive from God and the love we give to our neighbors. An act of kindness, a word of hope, and a message of joy have far greater value than any monetary gift.

I am not suggesting that we stop giving gifts to others at Christmas. Rather, I am suggesting that we are deliberate in giving those spiritual gifts that are so powerful and last a lifetime.

It is also important to remember that the greatest gift of Christmas is Christ. With Christ we receive unfailing love, God's assurance, and fellowship with each other. I'm reminded that, as nice as it is to get a box of cookies or new gadget, the more powerful gifts are relational.

So, this Christmas, I challenge you to give others the greater gifts of love, relationship, and Christ. Loving and caring for others is so needed in our communities. Sharing ourselves and providing an attentive ear to the concerns of others also is desperately needed. This Christmas, I am committed to focusing on relationships with my family and friends. I am committed to listening and sharing with others. My challenge to you is simply to be kind to others, share with them the joy of Christ, and celebrate the greatest birthday in history. Fundamentally, this is what we want for Christmas-to share God’s love with one another.

If you want to hear more about God’s love and enjoy a great morning of music and worship, come visit us at the Fontana UMC on December 18, 2022 at 10 a.m. You will find that we an authentic Christ-centered church that loves God and values our neighbors.

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